17. Small Changes

Once we had recorded the new audio that was conversational (an example below is of the first audio piece), we again chose to test out the newest working version of the performance within the site.

Not only did Rachel listen to the new tour, but we also asked a fellow student studying the module to walk around the site, enabling us to have someone with no experience or prior-knowledge of our performance be an audience member. Both of these reviews and comments after the practice performance were postivie and helpful, and I feel we can now record the audio professionally and work towards the run through for our dress rehearsal. There are a few adjustments and changes that were suggested we make, such as using bird noises at the end of the last audio to fade out, perfecting the pauses within the direction and reworking some of the words we use. We also informed Rachel of our plan to scatter scallops around the performance area, which Rachel suggested we keep contained to a smaller encapsulated area. These are minor details that can be easily worked on, and overall I feel confident that our performance is nearly ready. As Paul Allain and Jen Harvie say, site specific performance is “to alter the conventional spatial practices of performance to enhance both the relationship between performers and audience and the performance’s engagement with its space and site of production” (Allain and Harvie, 2005, 148), a statement which I feel reflects what we hope our performance achieves.

For our dress rehearsal, we need to include and show Rachel:

  • the introductory speech that begins our tour
  • the final recording of the audio in its completion
  • all of the subtle moments of coincidence
  • where and what we as the performance will be doing in the tour

Alain, P and Harvie, J. (2005) The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance. London: Routledge.

9. A Pilgrimage

Yet again, our performance has evolved. After discussing our ideas with Rachel, we have all become interested in the idea of a pilgrimage (a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion), and using this journey as a basis for our tour. Not only does this fit perfectly with the Cathedral as our site, but it also works for the theme of a “life cycle”, an idea we have also been moving towards. Moreover, unknown to us before, there is an image of a pilgrim on the Cathedral, which we think is placed quite close to the beginning place of our tour.


(Hannah-Briggs, 2013, citied in geograph.org.uk)

Whilst we do not want our tour to be overtly about or based upon any religious or historical material, as it is still primarily about the perspectives and the outside of the Cathedral itself, we want to subtly hint at such things. For example, for the beginning introduction of our tour, we are thinking of asking our audience to take a scallop as a physical representation of their acceptance to be a part of our tour. A scallop is an associated symbol to a pilgrimage, with the shape of its lines meaning to represent the joining of routes towards a religious place. There is an obvious connection between our site and the journey of a pilgrim, and as Jen Harvie believes, site-specific performance should be used “to explore spatial and material histories and to mediate the complex identities these histories remember and produce” (Harvie, 2005, 44). Additionally, “…location can work as a potent mnemonic trigger, helping to evoke specific past times related to the place and time of performance and facilitating a negotiation between the meanings of those times” (Harvie, 2005, 42). By referencing the past life of the Cathedral and using the voices of the present community, we hope to explore the different personal uses for such a site. We shall be testing out some of our ideas at our site this week, and continuing to develop these ideas into our final performance.

Harvie, J. (2005) Staging the UK. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Hannah-Briggs, J. (2013) The Lincoln Pilgrim, Lincoln Cathedral. [online] Available from http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3409318 [Accessed 18 April 2015].